A very strong turnout at the National Liberal Club participated warmly in the 2019 AGM. The Chairman recapped the year’s work, pointing to the importance of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed a year ago between The Club and Lancing in creating a positive working relationship.
Starting with a fairly new Committee, The Club had agreed the priorities would be:
- To put energy behind the Professional Networks, appointing Robert Walker to lead the effort. We can think of no better service to OLs than deploying the knowledge of successful OLs to support the personal development of younger members.
- Results so Far: The Law Business Network event that took place on 6 June
- To support the implementation of Lancing Connected: a system like LinkedIn which enables OLs to share information about themselves with each other.
- Results so far: 740+ OLs have signed up.
- To ensure the events supported by OLs represent value for money and reach their intended targets. With this in mind we have cancelled the Annual Dinner which was not meeting these goals and we have identified the need to strengthen our focus on OLs aged between 30-50.
- Results so far: record attendance at Young OLs Drinks (100+), Carol Service (200+) and Summer Party (140+).
The Chairman thanked Anthony Phillips who is standing down after years of dedicated service. The OL Club work in The Quad, the website and the e-newsletters have been of consistently high quality thanks to his diligence. Emily Cloney was elected to replace Anthony.
The Chairman thanked Nick Evans for his tireless efforts in maintaining strong links between The OL Club and our affiliated Sports clubs. Sharing of practices between them is underway (including recruitment and an app that simplifies the task of collecting subs!) Nick noted the move towards an all-sports and gender-neutral Sports dinner which Felix Aylett organised at the Royal Over-Seas League (see the website for details) on 5 July and encouraged all OLs to sign up.
Rob Walker and Neesha Gopal, who had been previously co-opted, were elected as Committee members. Alec Rickard and Emily Cullen have been elected as new members. Both President and Chair expressed their pleasure at seeing the quality and energy of members joining The Club.
The Chairman apologised for providing only provisional accounts. A complicated handover between Treasurers has caused significant difficulties which we hope will shortly be resolved with the return to office of David Rice, a former Treasurer of The OL Club. Once they are finalised the accounts will be posted on the website. If any OL wishes to be sent a copy by email, please contact the Foundation Office.
In place of finalised accounts the Chairman reviewed a graph (shown below) which indicates ‘typical’ annual income on the right (approx. £68k per annum), and ‘typical’ annual costs at a similar level on the left. These costs exclude the major donations (to Bursaries, Chapel and the Pavilion Project) which are addressed separately. He explained that following the MOU, revenues from subscriptions will rise and costs will also rise due to contributions made by The OL Club to a number of activities.
From the bottom, costs include
- ~£15k for its share of The Quad communications
- ~£15k for contributions to the salaries of staff in the Foundation Office who manage communications and event activities on behalf of The Club
- ~£11k for proprietary Club events (YOLs Drinks, Summer Party, Carol Services)
- ~£8k contributions to OL events managed by Lancing (Over 60s lunches, Oldest OLs Day, HK and NYC reunions, and House and Year group reunions)
- ~£10k contributions to Sports clubs
- ~£3k Club running costs
- ~£3k small donations
Anticipating member interest in the effect on Club finances of the major contributions, the Chairman explained that the current portfolio is valued at £667k and generates £23k in dividends. When this reduces to £420k (due to the proposed donations) dividends will reduce by approximately £10k to around £13k annually, necessitating sensible economies to stay within budget. He reminded the AGM that The Club had made the decisions to contribute generously to appropriate activities following input from OLs.
Shearwood Pavilion Project
The Chairman presented the Shearwood Pavilion Project and following several requests from the floor, the request to contribute £45k was endorsed by the AGM.
After the AGM we were delighted to welcome over 140 OLs and their guests to the Summer Party and we were able to enjoy an evening of sunshine on the terrace overlooking the river Thames. OLs present spanned over 60 decades at Lancing and enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with friends old and new.